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Eagles should hire Jon Gruden

phil sheridan inquirer

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#1 herbicide

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:06 AM

Sheridan

Eagles should hire Jon Gruden

Phil Sheridan, Inquirer Columnist

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013, 2:19 AM


Disclosure: Ten days ago, I started writing a column advocating Jon Gruden to replace Andy Reid as head coach of the Eagles. I decided to go in a different direction, which isn't unusual. What's unusual is reviving an unfinished column and reworking it.

Why now? Three reasons: The Eagles' coaching search meanders on, with Notre Dame's Brian Kelly handing them another snub. A few notables - Ron Jaworski, D Vermeil, Mike Mayock, Brian Baldinger - endorsed Gruden.

Finally, and maybe most compellingly, I've gotten into a couple of Twitter debates on the topic. Why try to make a case in 140 characters when I can do this?

It comes down to this belief: If Gruden returns to the NFL, whether it's here or elsewhere, he will win. Overall, he's better qualified than Lurie's other known candidates to come to Philadelphia, a place he already knows, and do what Reid never quite did.

The argument against Gruden goes like this: He won a Super Bowl over a decade ago with talent assembled and coached to the brink by Tony Dungy. After that, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers declined sharply, and Gruden was exposed as a mediocre coach.

Oh, and for good measure, no coach has ever won Super Bowls with two franchises. Not Bill Parcells, not Jimmy Johnson, not Mike Holmgren.

That quirk will inevitably disappear. Someone will do it. Since Gruden became the youngest head coach ever to win a title in 2003, he is a strong candidate to be that someone. More important, he is very different from those other guys.

Since being fired and establishing himself on TV, Gruden hasn't settled into the cushy broadcaster's life. He rented office space so he can get up early every morning and watch tape, just as he did as a coach. He is as freakishly obsessed with football as ever.

But he's also been able to gain some perspective. He's taken the time to meet with other coaches - including Eagles target Chip Kelly - and pick their brains. Through his ESPN show, he has developed insight into and relationships with, many of the best quarterbacks who have come into the league in recent years.

The day he fired Reid, Lurie said he would search for a head coach who was "innovative. Somebody that looks and studies the league and studies the college world . . . a student of the game who is obsessed and who absolutely and, on his own, is completely driven to be the best, that's what you're looking for."

That's a pretty good description of Gruden, who at 49 is the same age as Chip Kelly, younger than Brian Kelly, and just three years older than Gus Bradley.

So what about the collapse of the Buccaneers? Gruden was fired on merit after the 2008 season, but look a little deeper.

To get Gruden in 2002, the Buccaneers gave up two first-round and two second-round picks to Oakland. To win right away, which they did, they gave up four players who would have helped Gruden to continue winning later.

Second, Gruden clashed with general manager Rich McKay, who was then replaced by Bruce Allen, Gruden's ally from Oakland. The Bucs' next few drafts were not very good, and the team's record suffered accordingly.

In his years there, Gruden's quarterbacks were Brad Johnson, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, and Jeff Garcia - after Garcia's stint with the Eagles. That is not a formula for sustained winning.

Was that Gruden or the GMs or both? Probably both. Howie Roseman is going to continue to run the Eagles' personnel department. If Roseman is good, Gruden will have quality players. If Roseman fails, it won't matter who is coaching the team.

Where it will matter is in a locker room that rotted and collapsed in Reid's final years. This Eagles team needs a strong personality with NFL cred, someone who can command immediate respect. In that sense, their three strikeouts with college coaches may be a blessing.

Am I saying Gruden or bust? Not exactly. Lovie Smith, who interviewed Thursday, is a strong contender. Maybe Lurie can find a similarly commanding personality in interviews with Bradley, Mike McCoy, or even Jay Gruden.

He'd better succeed. Eagles fans will not forget that Jon Gruden is sitting there. If the next coach isn't a success, Lurie will never live that down. At best, he'll get a coach who can energize this team, get the most out of its talent, and seize a championship.

At best, he'll get a coach who can do what Gruden already did.


Contact Phil Sheridan at psheridan@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @Sheridanscribe.


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#2 Shocker54

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:29 AM

It's really the only hire that would save face for the franchise

#3 eaglefly1

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

Completely agree Shocker! If we are leaving no stone unturned I cannot for the life of me understand why we will not give Gruden an interview.

#4 mrfitsaro

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

The way the team appeared to quit on Reid the last two years shows the need for a guy the players will buy into. A coach that won the superbowl before, with big name credibility. He was the offensive coordinator here before. Seems like the perfect fit. The gold standard will leave no stone unturned they say while they ignore the 800lb gorilla sitting in the room staring right at them.

#5 igglesphan

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

I can only assume that Lurie has a reason for not interviewing Jon Gruden. I wasn't impressed w/ Gruden in Tampa. They weren't the offensive team that, with his reputation as an offensive guru, they should have been. The Bucs broke the bank to get him after Bill Parcells left them at the altar. It didn't end well. I hope that the Eagles don't repeat that mistake.

#6 mav81

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

Come on Lurie, be a man for once in your life.

#7 slick1234

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

I have heard remarks over the years both from players and pro coaches, plus the media. You only need to hear Jon Gruden speak for a short time and you see the intensity that he brings as well as a full knowledge of the game. My point is this, after a few years the players are tired of being berated in front of other players, Gruden yells or screams after every play that doesn't go his way, his way of doing things got so bad so fast at Tampa Bay that again after a few years the fans we tired of him. His personality, from what he shows on the sidelines, is one that becomes old very fast. I think these are some reasons why no team has shown any interest in the interview process. I'm sure there are other reasons so let's not get so locked in with him.

#8 matchew88

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

Come on Lurie, be a man for once in your life.


Tell me, what does a billion dollars taste like?

#9 mav81

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

Tell me, what does a billion dollars taste like?

Ask Howie, I'm sure he knows.

#10 bobbyuk

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

I can't understand the love for Gruden, but the outrage over the interview for Billick--they both have SB rings. And Billick did more in building the Ravens up then Gruden did for the Bucs. But here's my theory on why Lurie won't interview Gruden--2002 NFCCG and the subsequent loss in the opening game of the Linc. So much was made by the media of the fact that the Bucs had never won in cold weather before and that in the previous 4 meetings--including the playoffs in the previous two seasons--when the Bucs won to go to the SB, I do believe in an interview, Chucky let rip and he let rip at the Eagles organization as well for being overconfident. Then, after all the pub about the Linc opening, and the Bucs came in and shut them out--I think 10 years later, that still rankles Lurie. Just a theory but that's my opinion--why else would he not interview him?

#11 Iron_Eagle_04

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

I can't understand the love for Gruden, but the outrage over the interview for Billick--they both have SB rings. And Billick did more in building the Ravens up then Gruden did for the Bucs. But here's my theory on why Lurie won't interview Gruden--2002 NFCCG and the subsequent loss in the opening game of the Linc. So much was made by the media of the fact that the Bucs had never won in cold weather before and that in the previous 4 meetings--including the playoffs in the previous two seasons--when the Bucs won to go to the SB, I do believe in an interview, Chucky let rip and he let rip at the Eagles organization as well for being overconfident. Then, after all the pub about the Linc opening, and the Bucs came in and shut them out--I think 10 years later, that still rankles Lurie. Just a theory but that's my opinion--why else would he not interview him?


Because he wrecked the Bucs and he is overrated, why is that so hard to understand?

But I do absoloutely agree about Brian Billick. To me that suggests Eagles fans just want the fiery animated guy after all those years with Reid. Nevermind that he hasn't done squat in ten years.

#12 Iron_Eagle_04

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

It's really the only hire that would save face for the franchise


I would hope Lurie is concerned with hiring the best possible man for the job, not saving face in the eyes of idiot fans and idiot media. Who friekin cares what people think? Just give the guy with the best resume who isn't a burnt out retread a shot at this thing and lets go with it. Not one candidate is a guarantee anyway.

#13 Branded33

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:20 AM

YUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#14 tebin35

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:32 AM

Because he wrecked the Bucs and he is overrated, why is that so hard to understand?

But I do absoloutely agree about Brian Billick. To me that suggests Eagles fans just want the fiery animated guy after all those years with Reid. Nevermind that he hasn't done squat in ten years.

This original post is a good reason to point to many of those like you that don't know all your facts on Gruden. he has done with less than a hell of a lot of other coaches out there and I too think he would be perfect for Foles. The guy knows qb's and would attract a good staff to come in under him. He brings a lot more to the table than i think a lot of people like you realize. Not to mention that we especially need an outspoken in your face prove it tome type of HC leading this team next year.

Get your facts straight before you bash...

#15 Iron_Eagle_04

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

This original post is a good reason to point to many of those like you that don't know all your facts on Gruden. he has done with less than a hell of a lot of other coaches out there and I too think he would be perfect for Foles. The guy knows qb's and would attract a good staff to come in under him. He brings a lot more to the table than i think a lot of people like you realize. Not to mention that we especially need an outspoken in your face prove it tome type of HC leading this team next year.

Get your facts straight before you bash...


How ironic that you are telling me to get my facts straight, when you are acting as though Gruden is some sort of magic with quarterbacks when in fact he hasn't developed a single decent QB his whole career. <_<

Like I said, Brian Billick has pretty much the exact same resume as Gruden, yet you all want Gruden and not him. That pretty much proves you all are just wanting the fiery animated guy, and you have bias towards him.

Lets get in some fresh blood and forget about these retreads. the game has passed most of them by anyway.

#16 ryguy552

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

How ironic that you are telling me to get my facts straight, when you are acting as though Gruden is some sort of magic with quarterbacks when in fact he hasn't developed a single decent QB his whole career. <_<

Like I said, Brian Billick has pretty much the exact same resume as Gruden, yet you all want Gruden and not him. That pretty much proves you all are just wanting the fiery animated guy, and you have bias towards him.

Lets get in some fresh blood and forget about these retreads. the game has passed most of them by anyway.


To be fair he hasn't had any good Qbs to work with. Gannon he lucked out on. After that Brad Johnson, Bruce Gradkowski, an over the hill Jeff Garcia yuck. He did draft Josh Freeman I believe so he did something right.

#17 Iron_Eagle_04

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

To be fair he hasn't had any good Qbs to work with. Gannon he lucked out on. After that Brad Johnson, Bruce Gradkowski, an over the hill Jeff Garcia yuck. He did draft Josh Freeman I believe so he did something right.


Actually no he didn't. Gruden was fired in January 2009, they drafted Freeman the subsequent Spring with Raheem Morris as coach.

You are right about one thing, he didn't have much to work with at QB. But you still can't say that Jon Gruden is some kind of consummate developer of quarterbacks when in fact he has no history of doing so.

Like I said, lets forget these burnt out retreads and hire a hungry and talented young coordinator.

#18 evilwaldo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:50 PM

I heard Jon was going to take Lurie and the Eagles to Hooters to try and seal the deal.

He was going to make them some wings.

#19 InfiniteSeriesN

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

I heard Jon was going to take Lurie and the Eagles to Hooters to try and seal the deal.

He was going to make them some wings.

that's a fair strategy: nothing better than chicken wings and scantily dressed young women to set the mood; add a few beers and then flash that big ol' SUPER BOWL ring.

that should get it done!